All ‘New Directions’ Posts

08 jul

Young Adults and Addiction: The Benefits of Inpatient Care

For many young people, drug use and experimentation is a rite of passage of sorts. However, experimenting with drugs and alcohol is far from harmless, and can often result in lifelong problems with substance abuse and addiction. In turn, addiction can lead to difficulties in virtually every aspect of well-being, including physical health, relationships, education, careers, finances and more.

Due to the devastating effects of prolonged substance use, effective treatment is necessary in helping young people break the ties of addiction, improve physical and psychological health, and learn to live without the crutches of drugs and alcohol.

So, which type of treatment is most effective? The answer to that question often lies in inpatient, or residential care. Keep reading to learn more about inpatient addiction treatment, including its advantages, common practices and more.

What is Inpatient Treatment?

Unlike outpatient facilities, inpatient care involves residential treatment for substance abuse and addiction. Patients will spend their days and nights in the facility, and will receive intensive, ’round-the-clock care. And while facilities differ according to methods and practices, most offer services like the following:

  • Supervised detox. During this stage of treatment, drug use is discontinued and the body to rids itself of addictive substances. Since detoxification can lead to the onset of painful withdrawal symptoms, inpatient therapy can provide patients with the adequate care and support during this stage of recovery.
  • One-on-one counseling. Talk therapy plays an extremely important role in effective rehabilitation. During one-on-one sessions, patients can discuss their problems with addictive substances, as well as formulate coping strategies in the interest of sustained sobriety. Also, counseling allows mental health professionals to diagnose and treat underlying psychological illnesses that may contribute to substance abuse.
  • Group therapy. Like one-on-one counseling, group therapy provides patients with a platform on which to discuss their thoughts and feelings. Plus, group sessions provide the added benefits of support and accountability from peers, which has been shown to promote a healthy, more effective recovery.
  • Family counseling. Some facilities offer counseling for patients and their families. This can help addicts and their loved ones open the lines of communication, as well as learn about factors such as codependency, guilt and more. For young people, this can help open the doors for better familial relationships, as well as effective communication and continued support.
  • Aftercare. Followup treatment is often included in inpatient care. Aftercare methods typically include continued counseling and support, as well as assistance with housing, employment, continuing education and more.

Choosing an Inpatient Facility

While different facilities offer similar rehabilitation services, they often vary according to atmosphere, location, price, etc. For example, many treatment centers cater to only men or only women, while others incorporate religious teachings into their rehabilitation methods.

Further, some facilities are designed for young people, specifically. Treatment programs that cater to young adults aim to enrich the lives of young people by addressing their unique needs regarding health and rehabilitation. For example, young adult rehabilitation programs often include classes and seminars relating to life skills, decision making, family communication and more.

Combined, the efforts of these inpatient facilities significantly enhance the chances of recovery, as well reduce the risk of relapse with addictive substances.

Although addiction can have devastating effects on young people and their loved ones, the proper treatment can promote sobriety, prevent relapse and enhance both physical and psychological health. With the intensive care provided by inpatient therapy, young adults can beat addiction, improve wellness and enjoy a better, healthier life.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Jenna Smith on July 8th, 2014 in Family, Health, New Directions, Teens | No comments

02 jul

How to Handle Your First DUI

JennaSmithSo you made a pretty massive mistake and decided to drive while you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Worse yet, your behavior was poor enough that the police noticed and caught you. Now you’ve been given your first DUI citation and you are starting to wonder how you are going to pick up the pieces and recover.

The good news is that if this is your first offense, there are some things you can do that will indeed allow you to pick up almost where you left off and move on. The bad news is that it won’t be easy, its built to not be easy and to be a pain in the butt so that you don’t think driving while intoxicated is something that should ever be repeated.

As long as you follow this advice you’ll be able to put the incident behind you in relatively short order.

Take the DUI Seriously

The more naïve among us actually take getting a DUI citation as a badge of honor. The reality is this is the worst way you could possibly handle the situation. You should know that the authorities certainly take someone driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol very seriously.

Police departments actually take DUI charges so seriously, they’re willing to cite those who are trying to help others avoid getting caught. One Ohio man was recently cited because he put up a sign warning other drivers of a DUI checkpoint.

Make sure you are taking your situation seriously. Don’t treat it like a joke because it’s not.

Contact Your Local DMV ASAP

While DUI laws are different from one state to the next, in most locations a DUI will result in a suspended license. Some states have a mandatory suspension of 6 months or more. You don’t want to be without the ability to drive a car for a 6 month period. Your local DMV can tell you if your state has any kind of program like ignition interlock in place.

Ignition Interlock is a system that doesn’t allow people to drive as long as they have alcohol in their system. If people try to do it they are reported as violating the program and the punishment will become even more severe.

Other states will also make it so you need to get special auto insurance called sr22 that allows you to keep yourself insured while you’re driving until the DUI citation punishment has cleared up. This kind of policy is naturally more expensive than other kinds, so you’ll definitely have to search for cheap sr22 insurance where possible.

Seek Treatment

It’s certainly possible that your DUI was a one-time thing and you don’t actually have a drinking problem. Nevertheless, statistics show that most people who are caught on a DUI citation are abusing drugs or alcohol in a way that means they need to head to Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous.

Because there will be sometime between your citation and your court date, it’s in your best interest to start going to meetings ASAP. You will likely be ordered to go to some sort of counseling program as part of your sentence. If you start going before you are ordered to do so, you can show the judge that you are taking the right steps.

Be A Model Citizen

Going to some sort of treatment program is likely going to be part of your sentence but you could also be sentenced to jail (happens less often with first offenses) and you will also likely be sentenced to probation.

If you are serving probation, make yourself into a model citizen. If you’re supposed to stop drinking altogether, stop drinking. If you’re supposed to report in at a certain time each day or week, report in. Don’t allow yourself to start feeling like the victim. You committed the crime. Take the opportunity to correct problems in your life and then you really can get a sort of do-over once you have carried out whatever the courts demanded of you.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Jenna Smith on July 2nd, 2014 in New Directions | No comments Read related posts in , ,

12 jun

Flying to Work May Be Closer Than You Think


RobertCordrayTechnology is making leaps and bounds, and, every day, new innovations are being introduced designed to make life more convenient. While your car is dependable in getting you where you need to be, new advancements could make your commute quicker than you ever imagined. Engineers are taking steps to achieve the goal of introducing flying cars into the market.

Taking a Look Back

When it comes to the concept of a flying car, there is an interesting history. Many are surprised to hear that the concept of a car that could take flight has stemmed back as far as 1917. At this time, Glenn Curtiss attempted to create an aluminum vehicle with wings that spanned 40 feet. While his Autoplane never actually flew, it did make a few hops.

More recent attempts have had more success. In the late 1960’s, Robert Fulton introduced the Aerocar, a model that was intended to drive, fly, and drive again with no interruptions. The contraption worked, and it achieved an impressive 120 mph in flight as well as received approval from the FAA.

Current Updates on Flying Cars

While success has been achieved, we don’t see cars flying around today. However, this could very well change in just a few short years. A company called Terrafugia has been making advancements in the creation of a new model of car called the Transition. The introduction of the vehicle to the market has been full of disappointment, however. More than once, Terrafugia has announced the upcoming release of the vehicle without fulfillment.

In 2008, they announced it would be ready to hit the market the following year. Next, in 2009, they had their first successful flight. However, they are still not being made available for the public to purchase. The company anticipates the release of the Transition sometime within the next two years.

High Cost to Fly

While the benefits of having the ability to fly or drive your vehicle are vast, the price tag for the Transition is a hefty one. Potential owners will have to come up with an astounding $279,000 dollars to complete the purchase, yet many consumers are already prepared to foot the bill. Currently, Terrafugia has over 100 deposits to secure a Transition when they become available in the near future. The investment can prove to be one worth making for those who travel long distances often, and the convenience of having the ability to travel at such quick speeds can certainly come in handy when you wake up late for work!

Beneficial Uses

A car with the ability to fly can offer a number of beneficial uses beyond personal transportation. For example, with the influx of people choosing to do their shopping online, more are willing to pay additional shipping fees for a more expedient delivery process. A company looking to upgrade current shipping systems could certainly benefit from such a vehicle, and the investment would quickly pay off. Other benefits of the availability of this option of transportation include:

  • Less ground traffic
  • Drivers’ ability to save money on fuel by having the ability to get directly to their destination
  • The ability for ndividuals and businesses alike to save money on travel expenses for holidays and business trips

We Will See Flying Cars

While companies such as Terrafugia have long discussed the possibility of a car that will fly being available on the open market, many have lost faith. With so many false indications, some have come to the belief that this concept is just a fun myth to entertain. However, the technology is there, and successful flights have already been made. Within the next two years, we can expect to see those willing to fork over the cash flying in their cars overhead.

 For further reading, visit this URL about Flying Cars.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Robert Cordray on June 12th, 2014 in New Directions, Technology | No comments

07 jun

It’s Never Too Late to Start Living the Life You Want to Live

JennaSmithFar too many people have a cynical outlook on life. They don’t think life is supposed to be anything special and, therefore, don’t expect much. These people might have had dreams and aspirations when they were younger but they got caught up in “real life,” and eventually those dreams fell away. Maybe those dreams were dismissed as “unrealistic,” and, instead, the cynics submitted to a life they thought they “should” be living based on the dictates of their families and society at large.

If you are not happy with the life you have now, please know that you have options. You don’t have to acquiesce and just accept things as they are. The time to make a significant change has not passed. It is absolutely still available to you.

If you are feeling the urge to turn things around, but are not sure how or where to start, here are a few tips that will hopefully help you make the changes in your life you have been seeking, whether those changes are in your personal or professional life.

Change the Way You Think

The life you are living now is likely largely based on the image that you have of yourself and the beliefs that you developed while you were growing up. Those beliefs are probably someone else’s (like your Mom or Dad) but you adopted them for yourself, after those beliefs were continually pounded into your head while you were growing up.

Guess what! Unlike your race, gender or DNA, beliefs and self-image are not unchangeable aspects of yourself. They are in your mind and aspects of the mind can be molded and even changed. Whatever good we believe is or will be true for us, we will always be more likely to tune into those things that seem to reinforce our negative beliefs about ourselves, and we will often mistake this for “proof” that this is, in fact, how things really are.

You can change your self-image. For example, right now you may see yourself as someone who is only capable of being a low-level employee because that is all you have ever been. The truth is that you can be more. To do that, you need to learn how to see yourself in a new light.

Here’s another example: You may think of yourself as someone who will always be overweight and will always fail at efforts to be thin, because that has been your experience so far. That can be changed too.

Do you know how to make these mental shifts? You make these changes by seeking out information that will help you make these changes. Try to find some personal development materials that resonate with you, whether those materials are books, articles or even YouTube videos.

Try to stay open to positive viewpoints, especially when they contradict long held self image issues. You will soon find that whatever you want to believe in or hope for really can be true for you. When you start believing in more positive things, you will notice more positive things in the world and, in turn, you will notice more positive things happening to you (and around you). When you change your thoughts you can change your whole world.

Steps You Can Take Right Now to Jumpstart This Journey

“Where we are now” and “where we want to be” can seem light years away from each other. This usually stops people right in their tracks and they give up before they have even started. Try your best not to think about all of that stuff. Just focus on now.

For example, if you have always dreamed about opening your own business, start looking for classes and seminars that are aimed at people like yourself, and sign up for one of them.

The point is that you should focus on taking some sort of step that will get you moving in the right direction. Don’t worry about figuring everything out right now—all of that will unfold in due time. Just commit to getting started. Do something right now, no matter how small it may seem.

You Will Feel Scared and That is Okay

Finally taking control of your life, and molding it to be what you actually want it to be is really exciting, but it can be really, really scary. It is important to understand that it is okay to be scared. A lot of us seem to think that the presence of fear, doubt or other negative emotions is the equivalent of a subconscious warning that we may not be making the right decision, but this is not true.

There are very few people in this world, if any, who are 110% confident in their decisions and proceed forward without any internal struggle. You are human. These feelings are natural. You can’t predict the future so of course you are going to wonder whether the outcome will be good. If you can accept these feelings as normal, you will be better able to deal with them. Try not to view them as something that “shouldn’t” be happening.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Jenna Smith on June 7th, 2014 in Career, New Directions | No comments

28 may

Zen and the Art of Inline Skating

JennaSmithOn my 25th birthday I woke up to the realization that I was five years away from 30, and that I was a mess.

Growing up in Ohio, I had dreamed about California’s beaches, laid-back lifestyle and year-round sun. As soon as I graduated from college, I made like the Beverly Hillbillies, packed up my car, and headed for “Cali-for-nie-ay.” Once I hit San Diego’s shores I never looked back.

But San Diego wasn’t exactly what I was expecting. First, I didn’t really know anyone. Sure, I’m adventurous, but I’m also introverted by nature. As a result, I took a lot of moonlit walks along the beach, alone. After a while, I kind of lost the taste for it, which was OK because I had to work anyway.

One of the good things I could say about work was that it solved my social issues. I had plenty of friends at the cubicle farm, and that’s even where I met my guy.

I was in my dream city, I had a good job, I had my guy, and things were great, right?

Well, three years later I was sitting in the same desk, at the same job, in a windowless cubicle, staring at a beach screen-saver instead of enjoying the actual beach outside my door… OK, the beach across town.

When I wasn’t hanging out with some friends from the office, I was spending my evenings camped out on the couch, too tired and depressed from the job and the rush-hour commute to do much more than watch whatever was on TV and listen to the blood coagulating in my veins.

So back to my 25th birthday.

I woke up that morning with 30 looming like an object in my rearview mirror. At that moment I decided that something needed to change.

I would quit my job, buy myself a VW Bus, go to Burning Man, get a sick tattoo, meet a man named Snake, then we would come back to San Diego and spend our days rollerblading along Pacific Beach like “Slomo.”

I’d be free, gosh darn it, to do what I want, any old time.

After I had my first cup of coffee I kind of came to my senses and realized that Burning Man had already passed, and that it probably wasn’t a good idea to just up and quit my job.

But that didn’t mean I couldn’t do some of the other things on my list, namely the rollerblading.

See, I knew that I needed to get out, get moving, and get healthier. Day after day after night of sitting, sitting, sitting, had worn me out so much that I was starting to take the shape of my couch and desk chair.

Initially I had considered running, but gravity and I came to an agreement long ago – I wouldn’t try to defy it, and it wouldn’t blow out my knees and, so far, the agreement was going strong. Then I thought about joining a gym and realized the last thing I wanted to do was exercise indoors.

Then I thought about how much I had enjoyed roller skating as a kid, and how hanging out with Slomo at going as fast as you can go on these thin wheels, and I headed out to get my first set of inline skates.

Happy Birthday to me!

Two years later, I’m still skating.

I did make it to Burning Man once, but didn’t meet a guy named Snake. I did meet a Josh, however, while I was skating. I was minding my own business when this horse of a dog ran by me, trailing his leash. I roll over it, trip, and wipe out on the pavement. The rest is pretty much the stuff of romantic comedies.

About six months after my birthday I finally got the courage to quit my job. I had decided that I’d had enough of the nine-to-five world so I became a freelance writer. I set my own schedule, and I always make sure to include plenty of time outdoors. I’ve even started working on this novel that had been rattling around in my head since forever.

At first it was tough making all those changes, but whenever things got stressful I would just strap on the blades, head to the beach, and roll until my heart was calm and my heard was clear. I never actually skated with Slomo, but I pass him a couple times, and wave hello.

As far as the tattoo is concerned, well, a girl’s got to have a few secrets, right?

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Jenna Smith on May 28th, 2014 in New Directions, Personal Stories, Spirituality | No comments

20 may

How I Turned My Life Around and How You Can Too: Tips for Creating Permanent, Positive Change

Several years ago I developed an interest in self-improvement. My life was not horrible which is probably why I never felt particularly compelled to change it. I realized I was kind of just coasting on auto-pilot, not really giving much thought to what was happening with me, and whether I was happy. There was no one defining incident that lit my fire, rather I started on the path, and just kept walking it. Now, I have a life I never would have dreamed possible years ago. A whole book could be written about this topic, and thousands have, but here are a few key points I would tell anyone who was interested in really changing their life, and making permanent, positive change.

Define Your Why

Unless you get super-crystal clear about why you want to make the changes you are hoping to make, you are not going to get very far at all. You must define your “why.” Why do you want to lose that weight? Why do you want to work in a particular field? Why do you want to make more money? Why do you want to travel the world? Once you answer that initial question, ask yourself why you want that thing, and then that thing, and so on until you hit the rock bottom of your desire. This is where you will discover your core values, the things most important to you. Without figuring out your core values, your efforts at change will be half-hearted, and you will probably give up eventually. But, with a strong “why,” you will muster the motivation; you will have less difficulty making the decisions that are necessary. The “sacrifices” you must make to achieve your goals won’t seem so bad.

Feed Your Mind The Info That Forms Your New Belief System And Behavior

Right now, you hold so many limiting beliefs, and have so many self-sabotaging behaviors, you have no idea. You have no idea because this stuff is so deeply rooted, you are not even fully aware of it. But, once you start thinking more deliberately about changing your life, you will start to see more clearly the negative beliefs you hold about love, money, success and life in general; you will become more aware of the behaviors. The only way you will make the changes you desire is to flood your mind with information that is more positive and empowering; information to help you develop a new outlook on life, an outlook that supports your success, not detracts from it. And this is not something you can only do once in a while; you must do it all the time. This constant repetition is the only thing that will help shake loose the negative stuff that has been living quite comfortably in your mind this whole time.

You want to read and listen to everything you can get your hands on. Read about general personal development, read about law of attraction, read about any topic that resonates with you. Different people have different styles, and some will vibe with you and some won’t. Find the ones that do and devour their material.

One of the best types of information is stories about real people who have succeeded in the ways in which you hope. Learning about them will inspire you. If you hope to become a successful entrepreneur, read more about people like Richard Branson. If you hope to run a successful e-commerce website, learn more about someone like Patrick Byrne, the CEO of the monster hit Overstock.com, or Amazon’s genius Jeff Bezos.

Start Going After What You Want Without Worrying About How

Surely logic serves us well in our lives, but when it comes to creating the life you dream of, it can be a real drag. We are so conditioned to plan, and figure things out. When you first start thinking about your ideal life, you will look at your current life and try to figure out “how” you will get from here to there. Then you will start feeling discouraged because you won’t be able to figure it out. But, it is not your job to do so. You may be afraid you will fail, and that will stop you in your tracks. Just start focusing and taking any necessary steps, and things will unfold along the way. You can’t possibly anticipate all the ways your wish can be fulfilled, so leave that to the Universe, and focus on the “what.”

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Jenna Smith on May 20th, 2014 in Career, New Directions, Personal Stories, Spirituality | No comments

09 may

Flying and Mobility for Those in Wheelchairs

RobertCordrayYou are likely wondering how you will catch your next flight if you have mobility issues. The airline industry is addressing concerns about mobility in many different ways, and these methods should enable you to catch a plane more comfortably.

The Wheelchair lift

Wheelchair Lifts have been used for years on buses to ensure that you can get on and off the bus. Whether you were at an amusement park or riding across the city, the bus likely had a special lift installed that allowed you to wheel onto the bus. These lifts are now being installed on airplanes to ensure that you can get onto any plane.

The Commercial Liner

Many small airports board their passengers on the tarmac. The small size of these airports forces the planes to board from the tarmac because the terminals are not as tall as the planes. Even in some of the largest airports in the world, there are flights that must be boarded from the tarmac for a variety of reasons. If you are in a wheelchair, you will not be able to get onto the plane without a lift.

Airplane personnel are currently being trained to use lifts that have been installed on the planes. The lifts are installed behind the wing or at the rear of the aircraft. A steward or pilot will lower the lift for you, allow you onto the lift and ride with you back to the airplane. Once on board, the airline staff will help you to your seat and stow your wheelchair for you.

Smaller airplanes have run into problems with lifts and storing wheelchairs because of limited space, but airlines are not retrofitting airliners of all sizes with lifts to make certain than passengers with mobility issues can board the plane. You do not have control over which plane is assigned to the route you wish to fly, and your mobility issues should be addressed by the airline.

Private Planes

Private jets that also board on the tarmac present a different issues for riders with mobility issues. You may be a few feet from boarding the plane, but you do not have a way to climb the few steps that are necessary to get on the plane. Lift installations help you to ride onto the lift, board the plane and take your seat.

On private planes, you will be more likely to sit in your wheelchair in a special area of the plane. Once in the air, the pilot may allow you to move about the cabin freely on your wheelchair until it is time to land.

Changes In Commercial Airliners

As stated above, commercial airliners are currently being retrofitted with lifts to accommodate passengers with mobility issues. However, you cannot expect that every plane you are to fly on will have a lift. The best thing for you to do is contact the airline and ask about mobility assistance on their flights.

Airlines who are alerted in advance can make accommodations for you, change your flight or even assign a new plane to make sure that your needs are met. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that your problems will be solved, but you must ask the airline for assistance.

The future of air travel is mobility friendly. There are many passengers just like you all over the world who have problems boarding and disembarking an airplane. If you plan to travel, you can ask the airline for assistance. Plus, you should take solace in knowing that airlines are working very hard to equip all their planes with lifts that will serve you. In the future, all your air travels will be much simpler.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Robert Cordray on May 9th, 2014 in New Directions | No comments

26 apr

Three Common Types of Addiction: Spotting the Signs and Getting Help

JennaSmithAddiction is a touchy subject; even though most people have been affected by it in some form, open communication about this disease is rare. And while discussing substance abuse and addiction can be uncomfortable, an honest approach can help in both the treatment and prevention of this all-encompassing illness. As someone who has suffered the secondhand effects of addiction, I think communication, honesty and awareness are key in addressing the issue. Below, I’ve outlined three common types of addiction in the United States. With the information provided, you can spot the signs of addiction, and encourage your friend or loved one to seek the help they so desperately need and deserve.

Addiction to Prescription Drugs

Sadly, many drugs deemed safe are associated with dependence and addiction. Of these medications, the most commonly abused include prescription pain-relievers like Vicodin and OxyContin, and anti-anxiety drugs like Valium and Xanax. And while symptoms of abuse and addiction may vary, they usually include the following signs:

  • Constricted pupils.
  • Slurred speech.
  • Falling asleep or “nodding” at odd times.
  • Depression, anxiety and aggression.
  • Obtaining multiple prescriptions from different doctors, also known as “doctor shopping.”
  • Using illegal or immoral methods to obtain prescription drugs, e.g., lying about pain or other symptoms, theft, forgery, etc.
  • The onset of withdrawal symptoms when use is discontinued. These typically include nausea, vomiting, chills, aches and other flu-like symptoms.

If you or someone you love is addicted to prescription drugs, failure to seek immediate treatment can result in complications like prolonged addiction, overdose, organ damage, an increased risk of hepatitis and other diseases, relationship problems, legal and financial difficulties and other harmful effects. Treatment for prescription drug abuse usually entails intensive psychological counseling, as well as supervised detox, aftercare and more.

Sex Addiction

Sex addiction, also known as hypersexuality or compulsive sexual behavior, is associated with obsessive sexual thoughts or behaviors, to the extent that it affects one’s relationships, professional life and more. In individuals with compulsive sexual behaviors, multiple partners are common, as is the habitual use of pornography and an inability to feel satisfied from normal sexual encounters. What’s more, these individuals often engage in risky sex acts, as well as fantasies and behaviors that may be considered inappropriate, immoral or even illegal.

Even given the extreme nature of sex addiction, spotting the symptoms isn’t always easy. If you suspect a loved one of compulsive sexual behavior, approaching the subject is crucial to their health and well-being. Without treatment, individuals with this disease are prone to complications like the transmission of disease, relationship difficulties, problems at work, unwanted pregnancies and more. Treating sex addiction typically involves psychotherapy, couples counseling, behavior modification and other psychological approaches. What’s more, sex addiction therapy for men and women is typically the same, and is designed to promote healthy sexual behaviors and improved quality of life.

Alcoholism

Alcoholism may not be a new problem, but it’s one that still permeates our society and affects individuals of all ages. What’s more, in addition to prolonged alcoholism, binge-drinking among teens and young adults is also an important issue. Indeed, binge-drinking can lead to effects like organ failure and death, as well as risky sexual behaviors and an increased risk of physical injury.

Like other addictions, spotting the signs of alcohol abuse can be tricky. If you notice that a friend or loved one is drinking too frequently or too heavily, uses alcohol as a means to deal with other problems, drinks alone, or allows alcohol to affect other areas of his or life, suggesting treatment is recommended. And while treatment measures can vary, they usually include a detox from alcohol and other addictive substances, intensive counseling, behavior modification techniques and more.

Having close friends and family members who have suffered the from substance abuse and addiction, I know how hard it can be to cope with the effects and complications of this disease. Hopefully, with the information provided here, you’re better equipped to seek help, recover from addiction, and lead a healthy life, free from the terrible effects of substance abuse.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Jenna Smith on April 26th, 2014 in Family, Health, New Directions, Personal Stories | 1 comment

24 apr

5 Ways to Remodel Yourself (without Plastic Surgery)

JennaSmithA total-self-remodel differs from reinventing yourself, in that it’s about both the inside and the outside. It’s about changing your appearance for the better, as well as improving your attitude and outlook on life. Remodeling yourself takes some work, but if you’re willing to go the extra mile the results will be life affirming.

The following are some steps to take to remodel you. You don’t have to follow this guide to a T, but rather are encouraged to use it as a base guide for the work you want to do on yourself. Please, keep in mind that change requires action. In order to remodel yourself, you’ll need to make a conscious effort that is both thought out and deliberate. You must be serious about transformation, in order for transformation to occur.

1. Define Your Career Goals

It’s a harsh truth to face, but luck isn’t going to rescue you from your dead end job. Do you truly believe that someone, someday, is going to recognize all your hard work, pluck you from the crowd, and promote you? If so, you’re not being honest with yourself. The harsh reality is that no one recognizes your skills until you point them out. Part of remodeling yourself is remodeling your life’s aspirations.

Now is the time to define your career goals.

Ask yourself where you’d like to be career-wise in 5, 10, and even 20 years. Brainstorm your childhood hopes and dreams, as well as what you’re good at. Come to a conclusion about your aspirations, and then identify your goals. Even if you’re not sure what you want to do with your career, at least you’ll have defined what you’re good at.

2. Change Your “Look”

Changing how you look on the outside can have a really positive impact on how you feel on the inside. Although shopping for new clothes and a hairstyle will get this activity in motion, the real reinvention comes from long-term commitments to health, exercise, and beauty. It’s time to define what you want from your appearance.

You don’t need cosmetic surgery to change your face or body. Instead, you can opt for healthier, less-invasive procedures, such as body wraps, facials, and skin rejuvenations. These procedures will help you feel younger, as well as they can help jumpstart weight loss or improve skin quality.

“We believe that everyone has the right to go through the world with confidence,” says leading skin rejuvenators, americanlaser.com. “So whether it’s about looking better in a bathing suit, seeing a younger version of an “old friend” in the mirror, or whisking away unwanted hair, we’ll help make it happen. So you can love what’s looking back at you.”

3. Keep a Schedule

Transformation isn’t going to happen overnight, so schedule in your changes. Keep a list of the changes you want to see in yourself, as well as journal about your progress. Set reminders for yourself, so you don’t forget important activities, such as trips to the gym and daily affirmations. Keeping a schedule will ensure you stay on track while you’re redesigning a whole new you. Plus, a schedule oriented person is more successful in all areas of life.

4. Meet New People

Forging connections can help you in both your career and your personal life. It’s time to fill your life with positive people who support the new you. These people can be met in a variety of places, which should add some interesting experiences to your new lifestyle. Make sure to only frequent places wherein you’ll find like-minded supportive individuals.

For example, if part of your reinvention is spiritual, try introducing yourself to some friendly new faces at church. If your reinvention is focusing on the physical, look to meet active people on nature walks and hikes, as well as at the gym. Finally, if your reinvention is primarily about work, look for connections on LinkedIn, or ask your boss to refer you to some new clients.

5. Put the Past Behind You and Follow Your Dreams

You can’t move forward with a new life if you’re being held back by your old one. It’s time to put away the past and embrace the future, which is full of promise.

If you need to, seek therapy for this part of your remodel. Dealing with your personal and professional issues will help prepare you for dealing with any new issues that may arise. Your past could be holding you back from a happier, more productive future, so embrace and face the pain, deal with it, and move on.

Finally, follow your dreams. Your dreams are as unique as you are, and following them will bring untold joy and happiness into your life. Staying positive and never giving up are important to keeping a commitment to your dreams. Commit to a positive attitude, to working hard, and to redefining yourself and everyone will adore the new you!

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Jenna Smith on April 24th, 2014 in Career, Diet and Fitness, New Directions, Spirituality | No comments Read related posts in ,

18 apr

Life After Retirement: How to Make the Most of Your Golden Years

RobertCordrayYou’ve put in decades of hard work and dedication and the big day has arrived. You’ve finally retired. Many years of freedom are now in front of you, ripe for the taking.

So, now what?


It’s a question many retirees struggle with. After a lifetime of working every weekday, having so much free time on your hands requires a big adjustment. Many people simply don’t know what to do with themselves. Here are just a few suggestions that can help make your retirement years happy and rewarding.

Keep a Budget

Hopefully you’ve saved up for these years. Even if you have, the best way to make the money last is by keeping a budget. You’ll no longer have the steady stream of income flowing from a full-time career, so budgeting your expenses is a must. Once you have everything planned out, you’ll know how much you can spend on recreational activities.

Travel

Now that you don’t answer to a job, you’re free to travel the world. Think about all the countries you’ve never been to or the famous sites you’ve never seen. You can take big trips around the world or keep things a little closer to home. Either way, now is the time to get out and explore. If you have the finances for it, buying a motorhome isn’t a bad investment if you plan to be on the road for long periods of time.

Volunteer

If you have a passion for making a difference, your post-retirement years can be spent giving back to your community. Volunteering for a non-profit organization will not only keep you busy, it will help you be productive during a time when many people kick back and relax.

Read or Write

With so many hours of free time each day, you can finally get around to reading those books you’ve always wanted to check out. Or you can look into genres you’ve never really read before. Reading can also be a good way to generate new ideas for what to do with your time. As personal care company NuSkin says, “reading frequently will keep your brain engaged and open to new ideas.” In addition to reading, you can also take up writing that novel that’s always been on your mind, or you might start a blog to share your years of experience with the world.

Find a Hobby

Here’s your chance to really dedicate yourself to your life’s passions. It might also be the perfect opportunity to try out new things. Hobbies will help occupy your time and give you something to look forward to each day. Whether it’s hiking, gardenings, golf, knitting, playing cards, or music, you no longer have an excuse for putting off what you truly like to do.

Get a Part-Time Job

Yes, you may have retired from your career, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop working. Having a part-time job doing something you really enjoy can be very fulfilling while also bringing in some extra income. It’s also a great way to meet new people and get out of the house more.

These tips are just the start of an almost endless list of possibilities for post-retirement life. Don’t let anything hold you back from pursuing what you want to do. You’ve earned these years of freedom, so make the most of them.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Robert Cordray on April 18th, 2014 in New Directions | No comments Read related posts in , , ,